BLOG: The Eagles Nest

 



New and emerging small businesses by entrepreneurs are critical to economic and community growth in both urban and rural centres but is the financial services industry still holding back on helping the owners develop to their full potential, improve success or survival? I can feel a sense of contradiction between marketing messages and reality when talking to entrepreneurs. I hear stories of procrastination, indecision and uneasiness when dealing with these prospects and customers by both banks and credit unions. The entrepreneurs simply want the FI representatives to walk in their shoes and understand their realities. It is not unlike the farmers who used ask for local attention and representatives that would actually go out to the business for more than a lunch. As a retired banker I still enjoy talking to entrepreneurs and struggling farmers at their businesses or in the barn yards! Understanding their challenges and being flexible with supporting solutions is the objective.

I see some young entrepreneurs growing their businesses rapidly but they can't get working capital support from our industry because the representatives appear afraid to dig in to difficult situations to find customized answers which may involve non-financial aspects. Some need a mentor or a friendly adviser first and foremost who will guide them through our processes and the the unbelievable red tape of governments and financial institutions. Some of the failures I have seen do relate to not having empathy from institutions who want to be recognized as their champions in the public domain.

If we invest the time and interest in entrepreneurs there will be more successes, jobs and  economic growth. This is an opportunity which is attracting non-FI and secondary fintech/partners who eventually will disintermediate us and cut us out of emerging entrepreneurs. We can do better if we put ourselves in their shoes and show a customer-centric attitude and not a simple, clinical, stringent response.

Pat Palmer | Monday, February 27, 2017 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

For years our industry has followed satisfaction ratings research for market positioning, improvements and reinforcements. Traditionally within the industry smaller FI's and in particular credit unions have scored higher than national banks.

In a recent USA study overall FI satisfaction ratings are growing but the big banks' increases are greater than community banks and especially credit unions. 

I expect the same will hold through for Canada when and if statistics are released. 

We do know that the younger segments are demonstrating more and more interest in the digital capabilities of FI's on any number of devices. Also they shop regularly on their smart devices looking for many retail experiences including financial services. Perhaps there is a significant gap in responsiveness and innovativeness in some credit unions which reflect on the industry as a whole.

Digital developments are the foundation of omnichannels today and if you don't offer a competitive set of choices, consumers will walk with their fingers. Traditionally we have found less research investments into customer engagements/experiences by smaller FI's which put them at a disadvantage.

Pat Palmer | Friday, February 17, 2017 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

 


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